Monday, September 22, 2014

 

At its peak last summer, moderate to extreme drought gripped 61 percent of the Lower 48, but a "flash drought" brought exceptionally intense conditions to the Central Great Plains. A new case study by the NOAA Drought Task Force and the NOAA-led National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) finds natural variations in weather patterns caused this sudden “flash drought.” The report rules out global ocean conditions, as well as human-induced climate change, as major culprits.

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NOAA's Drought Task Force was established in October 2011 with the ambitious goal of achieving significant new advances in the ability to understand, monitor and predict drought over North America. The Task Force (duration is October 2011 – September 2014) is an initiative of NOAA’s Climate Program Office Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections (MAPP) program in partnership with NIDIS. It brings together over thirty leading MAPP-funded drought scientists from multiple academic and federal institutions (involves scientists from NOAA’s research laboratories and centers, NASA, U.S. Department of Agriculture, NCAR and many universities), in a concerted research effort that builds on individual MAPP research projects. These projects span the wide spectrum of drought research needed to make fundamental advances, from those aimed at the basic understanding of drought mechanisms to those aimed at testing new drought monitoring and prediction tools for operational and service purposes (as part of NCEP’s Climate Test Bed). The Drought Task Force provides focus and coordination to MAPP drought research activities, and also facilitates synergies with other national and international drought research efforts, including those by the GDIS.

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Advancing NIDIS Objectives
How Research Is Improving How We Monitor and Predict Drought

Research Objectives
Understanding, Monitoring, and Predicting Drought

Implementation:


Organization Projects Participants Meetings & Webinars Members Only


The Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections (MAPP) Program's mission is to enhance the Nation's capability to understand and predict natural variability and changes in Earth's climate system. The MAPP Program supports development of advanced climate modeling technologies to improve simulation of climate variability, prediction of future climate variations from weeks to decades, and projection of long-term future climate conditions. To achieve its mission, the MAPP Program supports research focused on the coupling, integration, and application of Earth system models and analyses across NOAA, among partner agencies, and with the external research community.

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Download our program brochure (pdf).